Following an open and competitive recruitment process, we are very pleased to announce the appointment of the following colleagues to the new Strategy Group.
Further members from the education sector, and the members of the Advisory Panel will be announced shortly.
Derri Burdon, Chief Executive, Curious Minds
Derri is the Chief Executive of creative education charity Curious Minds. As the Arts Council England Appointed Bridge organisation for the North West, Curious Minds works to place creativity and culture at the heart of schools and other services for children and young people. Derri originally trained as a teacher and taught English in further education colleges. She went on to work for ten years as part of Bolton Council’s Educational Improvement Service where she was responsible for leading several high-profile education and regeneration initiatives including Find Your Talent, Inspiring Communities, Bolton UFA and Sunflower Clubs. School wasn’t her favourite place as a child but despite this (or likely because of it) Derri is passionate about improving learning outcomes for all children, especially the most disadvantaged and vulnerable. In her current role, she is driven by the passionate belief that rather than attempting to ‘close the gap’, we should be filling it brim-full with enriching and inspirational cultural and collective experiences that the most fortunate families take for granted. A proud Blackpudlian with Irish roots, she is a governor of a secondary school in Wigan and is Chair of the newly formed CIO ‘Blaze Arts’.
Matt Griffiths, CEO, Youth Music (Chair for 2018)
Matt is the CEO of Youth Music, a national charity investing in music-making projects for children and young people experiencing challenging circumstances. He originally trained as a percussionist and was a professional musician and music educator for ten years. This work included leading workshops and projects in prisons, young offender institutions, special schools and mental health settings. It was this work in particular where Matt saw first-hand the significant personal, social and musical benefits of music-making particularly for people facing challenges in their lives. It has been the focus of his career ever since. Matt's previous roles include founding Director of Plymouth Music Zone, Director of Arts for the Dartington Hall Trust and founder of the Devon School for Social Entrepreneurs. Matt was previously a member of the CLA Steeering Group.
Jacqui O’Hanlon, Director of Education, Royal Shakespeare Company
Originally an actor and drama practitioner, Jacqui joined the RSC in 2003 and has been Director of Education since 2008. She is responsible for the strategic development of the RSC’s work with primary, secondary, special schools, universities and partner theatres. She has an interest in research, particularly finding accessible ways to share and disseminate it to inform real world decision making. She is on the Steering Group for the Midlands HE Cutlure Forum and a primary school governor. In 2018 she was appointed as a Commissioner for the Durham Commission. Jacqui was previously a member of the CLA Steeering Group.
Ray Oudkerk, Assistant Principal for Performing Arts, The BRIT School
Ray is currently Assistant Principal for Performing Arts at The BRIT School of Performing Arts and Technology, based in Croydon. Alongside national curriculum subjects, the school offers specialists courses in Dance, Film & Media Production, Interactive Digital Design, Community Arts Practice, Music, Musical Theatre, Technical Theatre Arts, Theatre & Visual Art & Design for young people between 14 and 19 years old. The BRIT School's mission is to nurture original, responsible and ambitious young people.
Ray studied Dance & Philosophy at Middlesex University followed by a year at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. After completing a PGCE he went into mainstream education and has 20 years experience of teaching Dance in secondary schools, predominantly in South London. Over the years Ray has worked as an Advanced Skills Teacher, mentored beginning dance teachers, delivered professional training courses and worked with many arts companies and professional artists. He has focused on boys’ dance for a number of years and created a range of teaching resources. In 2013 he completed a Masters in Teaching through the Royal Academy of Dance. His dissertation focused on the relationship between Ofsted and pedagogy. Ray is passionate about creative education for all young people. He is a director on the board of Rambert Dance Company and is Chair of AQA GCSE Dance.
Joan Parr, Head of Creative Learning and Young People, Creative Scotland
Joan is Head of Creative Learning and Young People at Creative Scotland, the national agency for the arts, screen and creative industries. Previous posts include Head of Education for the Scottish Arts Council, education officer at the National Galleries of Scotland, education officer at Edinburgh Castle and education officer for heritage, visual and performing arts at Falkirk Council. and has a Post Graduate Diploma in Education from Dundee University. Her current remit includes a national strategic overview of creative learning, the national Creative Learning Plan, the development of Time to Shine, the national youth arts strategy and the delivery of national programmes such as the Youth Music Initiative and CashBack for Creativity.
As well as being the current chair of the International Teaching Artists Collaborative (ITAC), Joan is also the current president of ACEnet, a network of European policy makers. She has served on numerous boards and committees concerned with the arts, learning and young people including Young Scot, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, and the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Young People Committee. She is passionate about the value of the arts and creativity in creating fulfilled, healthier, happier individuals and communities.